Walking the Walk on Global Warming

There has been a major global summit taking place in Copenhagen to talk about Global Warming (or Climate Change, as it is sometimes called).  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called for the developed nations to give $100 billion to underdeveloped nations over the next 10 years, so they can implement changes to cut down on their harmful emissions.  President Barack Obama is calling for nations to compromise on this issue.  He wants everyone to give in a little, so that at least some progress can be made.  Meanwhile, the President is also encouraging Congress to pass legislation committing the United States to cut down on its greenhouse gas emissions over the next several years.

Several questions have arisen from all of this.

Are we done debating the reality of Global Warming?  It seems like some segments of the population, including a few scientists, are still skeptical.  Yes, there’s less snow on the ground these days than there was 20 years ago, but is this part of a normal fluctuation or a dangerous trend?  If it is a trend, does human activity truly make a difference?  I don’t know; I’m not a scientist.  It seems like anyone who questions the official orthodoxy on this is lumped in with Holocaust deniers and those who think we never went to the moon.  That doesn’t seem quite fair.  Also, isn’t it interesting that a lot of people who say all truth is subjective are demanding that we believe in Global Warming without reservation?

Does it hurt the credibility of the Global Warming believers when there was that organization in Britain that apparently fudged the results of their temperature study?  Does it hurt that a scientist came out and claimed that Al Gore overstated the scientist’s claims.  If they have the facts on their side, why the alleged subterfuge?

Does it hurt their credibility that people flew from around the world to attend this summit?  Wouldn’t videoconferencing have been both a nice PR move and a great example of how we can change our habits in order to leave a smaller carbon footprint?  Does it hurt Al Gore’s credibility that he wants us all to cut back and sacrifice when he lives in a huge, energy-wasting house?  How can he ask us to change and sacrifice when he doesn’t seem to be willing?

How can we truly invest significant sums into helping other countries go green without further weakening our economy and increasing our debt?

How could we pressure the Chinese (who are the worst offenders when it comes to harmful emissions) into following through with changes we pay them for when they control so much of our national debt?

Is this problem so serious that we can’t afford to wait any longer to deal with it?  I don’t know.  Again, I’m not a scientist.  But neither is Al Gore.

If the problem is real, is there anybody out there with credibility who can say so?  Can they offer solutions that are actually practical?